Spa is a unique circuit - what challenges does it present?
Spa is quite different to all the other circuits we run at because, although we use lower downforce levels similar to Canada, this circuit has many more high-speed corners. That makes it tricky to balance the downforce level with getting good top speed, which you need because there are two very long sections at the start and end of the lap, where you spend a long time at full throttle. Often, this is a circuit that throws up some surprises, and suddenly cars that havenít been quick all year can be good in Spa. From the teamís point of view, we will be running the f-duct for the first time this weekend, and we hope it will work straight away so that we have as much practice time as possible to extract the maximum performance from this system.
Will the f-duct change the approach to this race?
We have seen a tendency for cars running the f-duct to use higher downforce levels than normal, because they can stall the rear wing and still generate good top speed. I think that will change the approach to Spa, too, because teams will be able to run quite a lot of downforce and still achieve good top speed. Although this is a circuit we all like driving on, itís still a track where car performance is very important.
What do the drivers find so enjoyable about Spa?
Itís definitely a circuit all the drivers enjoy and we all look forward to driving there. Itís a bit different to the other circuits: we have this combination of low downforce levels and high-speed corners, there are a lot of corner combinations where they flow from one exit to the entry of the next and the circuit is quite wide so you can choose different lines. Itís a good circuit for racing, too, because the long straights can give good chances to overtake, and that can make the races quite interesting.
You had a tough afternoon in Hungary. What will your approach be to the final part of the season?
After such a long break, Iím not thinking about the last race but more on whatís coming up. It will be a tough end to the season, because we have just two more races in Europe followed by some long trips to Asia, South America and the Middle East. Iíve been out of luck in the last three races, with no points in Silverstone or Budapest, so I would like to get back to how we were racing earlier in the year: scoring regular points and fighting for good positions. I think the target for myself and the whole team will be to close the gap to the top teams during these races.